NEW YORK – The New York Yankees lost the A.L. championship series opener and their captain when Derek Jeter broke his left ankle moments after Detroit’s Delmon Young doubled home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning, giving the Tigers a bizarre 6-4 win Saturday night.
In a game of wild swings and wild swings of emotion, the Tigers took a 4-0 lead into the ninth before Raul Ibanez struck again, hitting a tying, two-run homer with two outs that turned a somber crowd into a delirious one.
And then came a little grounder up the middle that devastated the Yankees and their fans, who saw their leader writhing on the ground, screaming in pain.
Jeter rolled when he reached down in an attempt to glove Jhonny Peralta’s grounder up the middle in the 12th, planted his left foot and tumbled, landing on his stomach. Unable to move, he backflipped the ball toward second baseman Robinson Cano.
Jeter was down for about a minute and was helped up, then assisted to the dugout with manager Joe Girardi on his left and trainer Steve Donahue on his right.
“They talked about a three-month recovery period,” Girardi said. “Won’t jeopardize his career, but he will not be playing any more for us this year.”
Eduardo Nunez will fill Jeter’s roster spot, with Jayson Nix likely taking over at shortstop.
Detroit was coasting toward a 4-0 win before the Yankees rocked Tigers closer Jose Valverde in the ninth. Valverde has allowed seven runs in three playoff games and could lose his closer’s role to Octavio Dotel.
“We really want to put our heads together and discuss it first, to be honest with you, and get together as a coaching staff and talk about it,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Ichiro Suzuki started the comeback with a two-run homer with one out, and the 40-year-old Ibanez hit another two-run drive with two outs. Three nights earlier, Ibanez hit a tying home run in the ninth against Baltimore in Game 3 of the division series and another homer in the 12th to win it.
“If we are going to be good enough, we have to be able to take a punch, and we took a big punch,” Leyland said. “We took a right cross in the ninth inning but we survived it.”
Young’s one-out double off David Phelps, which followed a leadoff walk by Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, sliced in right and eluded Nick Swisher, who appeared ready to dive but couldn’t get his glove out when he realized the ball was closer to him than he had thought.
Young drove in three runs, hitting an RBI single in a two-run sixth against starting pitcher Andy Pettitte, and a solo homer in the eighth against Derek Lowe. That gave him a Tigers record six postseason homers, breaking a tie with Hank Greenberg and Craig Monroe.
“We’re big leaguers. Things are going to happen,” Young said. “The other team wants to drive Mercedes-Benzes and eat Morton’s, too. … We got back in to play the 10th inning. Everyone just regrouped, and basically a 0-0 ballgame.”
|D.Kelly pr-dh||0||1||0||0||0||0||– -|
|Detroit||000||002||020||002 – 6||15||1|
|New York||000||000||004||000 – 4||11||0|
E – Infante (1). LOB – Detroit 12, New York 13. 2B – A.Jackson (1), D.Young (1), Jh.Peralta (1), Ibanez (1), Swisher (1). 3B – A.Jackson (1). HR – D.Young (1), I.Suzuki (1), Ibanez (1). RBIs – Fielder (1), D.Young 3 (3), Dirks (1), A.Garcia (1), I.Suzuki 2 (2), Ibanez 2 (2). SB – Gardner 2 (2). RLISP – Detroit 4, New York 9. RMU – Mi.Cabrera, Fielder, Dirks, Cano. GIDP – A.Jackson, Al.Rodriguez. DP – Detroit 1, New York 1.
|Coke H, 1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Smyly W, 1-0||2||1||0||0||0||2||0.00|
|D.Phelps L, 0-1||1||3||2||2||1||1||18.00|
IR-S – Coke 1-0, D.Lowe 1-0, Logan 1-1, Rapada 1-0. IBB – Mi.Cabrera. T – 4:54. A – 47,122 (50,291).